The Death of Peter Fechter - ICA, London, 2007
Commissioned by the ICA, this was a re-enactment of the death of Peter Fechter; an 18 year old citizen of the GDR, shot and fatally wounded attempting to escape over the Berlin Wall on August 17th, 1962.
After being fired upon and hit in the back and abdomen, Peter fell back in to the no-man’s land on the GDR side of the wall and lay calling for help for 50 minutes whilst he slowly bled to death. Neither the GDR nor GI guards stepped in to help him, despite pleas from a large group of West Berliner’s who gathered having heard the shots.
This project was a straight re-enactment of this hour in Peter’s life and death, staged at a secret location in London. Two coaches full of audience were bussed in from the ICA with no knowledge of where they were going. Integral to the performance was the use of live-firing AK-47 machine guns by the GDR guards (firing blank ammunition), providing a very real and physical experience for the audience. Planted among the audience were performers who took the role of the West Berliner’s once the performance was under way, blurring the line between audience, performer and performance.
Information on the ICA website can be found HERE